Fans can do all kinds of things to show their love for their favorite superheroes. In the case of Archie Whitehead, a 17-year-old high school student from Welwyn Garden City, a town 20 miles outside of London, that means building an amazing, highly realistic costume of Iron Man. The homemade suit is so good, you can barely distinguish it from the one used in the movie.
In January, Whitehead wanted to make an Iron Man suit. He saw somebody in the United States had made a DIY Iron Man costume in fiberglass, but that wasn't going to be possible. "That's real expensive," he thought. "At 17, obviously I don't have the kind of money to make something like that." But then he saw somebody else had made a Halo costume with foam, and he thought, "Why can't I make the suit out of that?"
Once he decided on the material, he downloaded some 3D files from online prop and costumes forums and used "loads of reference images" to modify the downloaded templates. He then printed the templates and used them to trace them on the foam, which he then cut with a knife. Once he polished all the corners, he glued everything together and used small bolts for the joints. He then sealed the foam with acrylic gel, which allowed him to keep the costume flexible but at the same time make it paintable. Finally, he colored everything with spray paint. Every part of the costume is made of foam, except for the helmet, which is made of resin fiberglass, and took him the most time to build.
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The whole project took approximately four months. He put in a few hours of work every day during his spare time. The entire costume, counting all the materials, cost him about $500.
"I really didn't realize it would come out so well until it did," Whitehead told Mashable in an email.
Eventually, Whitehead wants to become a conceptual artist, but he also enjoyed building his first costume, so he says he will keep exploring his options now.
The results of his tireless work are in the slideshow above, and check out more pictures on Imgur.